The Dark Between
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The Dark Between

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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A supernatural romance about the powers that lie in the shadows of the mind, perfect for fans of Sarah Rees Brennan, Alyxandra Harvey, and Libba Bray.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Spiritualism and séances are all the rage—even in the scholarly town of Cambridge, England. While mediums dupe the grief-stricken, a group of local fringe scientists seeks to bridge the g...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. MaasDeception by C.J. RedwineBetween the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve TucholkeOrigin by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
YA Books - Publishing August 2013
31st out of 68 books — 182 voters
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve TucholkeGated by Amy Christine ParkerOrigin by Jennifer L. ArmentroutTerminated by Rachel CaineThe Redemption of Callie & Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
On My August 2013 List
5th out of 16 books — 15 voters


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Community Reviews

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Claudia
Had to wait to review this since a student grabbed it out of my hands as soon as I read it. She just finished and the two of us have promised to buy all the copies at our local bookstore IF Sonia Gensler starts working on the sequel. NOW! Yesterday!!

Kate, Asher, Elsie. No more different three young people, and yet here they are, at Summerfield College in Cambridge. Each has a connection to the popular world of Spiritualism, and each is trying to run from a painful past.

The atmosphere of Summerfi...more
Evie
Set in 1901 Cambridge, England, The Dark Between is a beautifully written and delightfully atmospheric Gothic murder mystery that follows the adventures of three extraordinary teenagers as they investigate the mysterious death of a friend.

Sonia Gensler's new book is a magnificent work of fiction. I loved every page of it. Revolving around spiritualism and seances - two subjects I find extremely fascinating - The Dark Between is quite eerie and dark, but also very fun to read. And the fabulous...more
Alexandra
Great story, poopy ending.

Sonia Gensler sure can write. This was really good YA. It didnt feel like YA at all. The writing was fantastic, the setting was really great and the perfect type of setting for a gothic novel. Books, papers, dusty college libraries and laboratories? Heck yes.

I sort of was disappointed in who died and who didnt, and who didnt end up with anyone. Like I said, poopy. :(

Fiction_TheNewReality
Review: Well this was a depressing book. And I should have seen it coming with all the ways it was similar to Cat Winters's In the Shadow of Blackbirds. However, while Cat's book made my list of top 10 read in 2013, I'm not sure if The Dark Between was on the same level as In the Shadow of Blackbirds.

Characters: Out of the three main characters that are introduced in this novel (Asher, Elsie, and Kate), Kate was definitely my favorite. She was wild and adventurous, daring and independent. Elsie...more
Ashley Brooke
I really can't tell you how surprised I was at The Dark Between. I picked it up on a whim and it held me captive from beginning to end! I really, really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was fluid, the characters were likable, but not cookie cutter and the historical setting was pretty fascinating! I especially enjoyed that the characters seemed to grow during the course of the novel.

I gave this 4 stars because for me, it's clearly a book that needs a sequel. The ending, without a sequel, s...more
BAYA Librarian
Plucky, street-wise Kate is an orphan who has just lost her last hope of making an even vaguely respectable living. Frail, dreamy Elsie suffers from fits and can’t admit to anybody what she sees while she has them. Handsome, brooding Asher is just trying to get away from an American father he hates. They find their various ways to London’s Summerfield College, where all is not as it seems. There have been mysterious deaths, and the three very different young people are going to have to start tru...more
Barbd
An engaging and well-written young adult novel - part historical fiction, part mystery, part ghost story. The story begins with a Victorian orphan, who has been living by her wits and sometimes outside the bounds of the law. When she finds shelter at a women's college, she meets and becomes friends with two young people who are also staying at the college. In keeping with the mysterious tone of the book, her new friends harbor secrets of their own. Disappearances and murders on the college groun...more
Elaine
Jan 10, 2013 Elaine marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-yet-released
Umm. Sarah Rees Brennan, Libba Bray, Alyxandra Harvey.
Yeah, consider me sold.
Katrina Tinnon
The Dark Between wasn’t what I was expecting. The cover gave me the creeps, and I thought going in I’d get a great gothic horror. Even though it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, I enjoyed it.

We follow Kate, Elsie, and Asher through the streets of Cambridge. Kate is my favorite character. She doesn’t really care what others think of her. Her downfall is she’s not very trusting. She honestly has no reason to be, but I think it helps develop her into the strong young woman that she is. She...more
Jessica
One look at this cover and I knew it was going to be a creepy read. But knowing this was a supernatural romance, I was intrigued to see how the whole supernatural ghost thing would mix with a romance and couldn't wait to dig into this story.

It's 1901 in Cambridge, England and scientists are intrigued by the idea of the supernatural world. Seances and speaking to ghosts in the spirit world are mysterious mental powers these scientists are determined to master. Kate, Asher, and Elsie find themsel...more
Tiffany
See my full review here: http://misstiffreads.blogspot.com/201...

Kate Poole finds herself without a situation after the medium she worked for threw her out. Asher Beale has run from his family and finds himself at the doorstep of a family friend. Elsie Atherton has been drugged to control a condition that embarrasses her family. These three unlikely companions find themselves together at Summerfield College in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, members of The Metaphysical Society. Elsie can go i...more
Amy
In a time of spiritualism and séances, Kate survives by creating illusions for a particularly cunning Madam. Filling her nights with seeking information and painting herself as ghosts of loves ones past; as well as spending her days hidden among the living, for fear of being detected as a fraud.
Despite all her prudence, Kate’s worse fear happens when the truth is finally exposed, causing Kate to lose the only home she has ever known. Alone and destitute, Kate finds herself at the doors of the S...more
Chelsey
Spiritualism and séances. Never have I read a book focused around these two concepts, but let me just say that this book was gratifying enough to make me want more. Summerfield College is such a dramatic and fantastic setting to this eerie world that Sonia Gensler drops readers into, and the three characters that she has created to lead us through the book are just as engaging and come from painful, if not tragic, backgrounds. I was so caught up in this book that I didn’t even mind the spooky pa...more
Christianna Marks
You can read this and many other reviews on my YA book blog The White Unicorn!

I'll start out by saying that this book wasn't as scary as I had hoped. Yes, it definitely had it's moments of eerie, spookiness, which I enjoyed, but it never made my skin crawl. It was more of a mystery novel with horror elements than a horror novel with a mystery around the edges and once I got my head wrapped around that fact, I had a great time diving into this book!

I struggled a little bit with the 3 points of v...more
Suad Shamma
Okay, so I got a little excited with this book, but I just LOVE ghost stories! And good ones at that!

It is so rare that you find a proper ghost story that keeps you hooked all the way. The only other one I can think of right now is Maureen Johnson's Name of the Star (brilliant book, highly recommended, go buy it NOW!), but Sonia Gensler succeeded in writing a very successful ghost story - i.e. interesting and spooky all at the same time.

A good ghost story is one that has an interesting story lin...more
Elise Edie
Sonia Gensler's engaging mystery takes place in Cambridge and concerns the adventures of three very different teenagers, thrown together unexpectedly in the midst of a turn-of-the-century paranormal research investigation. Each tries to uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious deaths, and all are led to members of the Metaphysical Society, a learned group of men dedicated to the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena.

Gensler creates a tight mystery and a whole host of attractive ch...more
Shannon Renee
I picked this book in a whim. I really didn't expect much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes in YA, period pieces or flashbacks into the past do not seem true (cough, Fallen Series cough, Lauren Kate, cough). This was true to the time period, excellent setting, solid, developed characters, and an OK plot. Everything doesn't shore it self up, and I'm still left with a few questions, so I hope there is a sequel. A very solid book.
Kristi
Interesting, but not intriguing-- although, it definitely had the potential to be.

I was disappointed by all the wasted time and lull's in between scenes. This could have been more fast paced and more time spent on the "dark between". I expected more about the lost souls trapped between, instead it focused on the three boring humans...

Also, the last three chapters were redundant and didn't do much to make me eager for a book 2 (I'm assuming there will be...)
Paula
I have to caveat this by saying I know the author. But even with that, I honestly loved this book. And I'm impressed with the leaps and bounds by which her writing has progressed.

The setting was really interesting. I really felt transported back to this era on England. And while I could tell she did a ton of research, it was woven into the story so delightfully that I was constantly surprised by interesting tidbits that were revealed by the narrative without it feeling in any way like a history...more
Anne Broyles
In the early 1900s, Kate, Asher and Elsie meet in Cambridge, England and despite their different backgrounds, band together to solve a murder mystery. Memorable characters, the intersection of academia and Spiritualism, and a lushly-imaged historical backdrop make this a compelling read.
Kim Heimbuch
The cover on this book is quite disturbing and suits this story beautifully. Set in the early nineteen-hundreds, you are taken back into a world that is darkly simple and disturbing to say the least. When Kate, Asher, and Elsie take it upon themselves to investigate the death of their friend, they find more than what they could even imagine. Using Elsie’s seizure like skills to communicate with the other world, she will open up a world of Gothic darkness they might rather wish they hadn’t.

“Why w...more
Chris
See, the book was good until we got to that really awkward ending. And it doesn't seem like there's going to be a sequel, so you're meant to stay confused. Who was the editor????
Amy
This was my first paranormal historical novel and I really enjoyed it. The characters seemed authentic. I had no problems believing in them or the setting. It was as if Gensler eavesdropped on the scenes, which is how you want it to feel. This author was recommended to me by a former student of hers and a new friend of mine. I'm glad she told me about the book. I would like to read Gensler's other work. Having spent three and a half weeks in Cambridge, England, the story's setting, in college, I...more
Catherine Harnden Howell
Fun, quick read.
Liked it overall except for the ending which felt forced and rushed.
Still, have to say Ms. Gensler can write; it was a page-turner!
Nicole Dreibelbeis
I really, really enjoyed this book! It had many elements that I love in fiction- spiritualism, Victorian, a touch of the gothic, etc. I thought the author did a great job balancing the 3 narrators. They each had a distinct voice, so I never got confused about who was speaking. The only thing that was a little disappointing was the ending. It felt like we were rolling along with a lot of momentum towards a conclusion, and it is never really reached/wrapped up. I thought the book was a standalone,...more
Jennifer Denney
This is a fairly creepy story of a girl who has episodes in which she falls into a telepathic trance and can communicate with the dead. Her encounters with spirits keep her fairly isolated from her Victorian England surroundings. She and two others work together to solve the mystery of a young boy who was murdered near their home. I think I liked Gensler's The Revenant better, but it took place in my home state, which may have skewed my bias toward that book over this one. The writing is excelle...more
Stacy
Jan 11, 2014 Stacy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Fantastic historical YA with some paranormal elements. Features three delightfully flawed characters with complex personal histories and really enjoyable interactions. I rarely find myself wishing for a sequel, but in this case, I would love to spend a little more time with Kate, Elsie and Asher!
Alyisha
Fast, wonderful, historic, romantic, moody, atmospheric, full of girl power, and a little bit dark, "The Dark Between" was nearly perfect. But what the HELL happened at the end? That was so incredibly dissatisfying! It begs for a sequel but, sadly, I don't think we're getting one. :(
... Are we?

Things I still have questions about:
*Tec
*The unnamed artist
*Elsie's telegram
*Motivation behind the book's final action? (wtf?)

Rating: Somewhere between 3 & 4 stars. 3.75?
Terrie
After reading the Revenant, I was looking forward to her next book, and while the Dark Between has a lot of the same elements, it just never got off the ground. There was no climax because the story seemed to build, but then just petered out. Very disappointing ending. If she's thinking to build this into a series, I would tell her not to bother unless something is going to happen or a mystery is going to be solved. The idle ramblings of Victorian YAs leaves a bit to be desired.
Katy
Meh. I liked the first third then got totally bored.
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3101309
I am a former high school teacher turned full-time writer living in Oklahoma with my husband and my cat.

My debut novel, THE REVENANT (Knopf 2011), is a ghostly mystery set at a Cherokee girls' school. My latest book, THE DARK BETWEEN (Knopf, August 2013) is a Gothic murder mystery set in Cambridge, England.

PLEASE NOTE: I'm not assigning stars to book reviews anymore. I'm really not writing revie...more
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